Skirt. Coffee. Candy. Doneanddone.
As the above is preettttyyy much what my life looks like everyday, I would like to share something that reached out an grabbed me lately.
This is a tale of sisterhood.
Of the girls in blue and white.
My mind was on Friday, 'cause for the first time since August, I get to see my Mama, Daddy, sister, dogs, and sweet city (Auburn included in that region, duhhh wareaglebeatGeorgia.) And standing alone in Washington Dulles Airport on Tuesday, it all started coming down: I really. wanna. go home. now.
But the plane I hopped on was northern-bound to West Virginia. So I landed. And in the airport waiting on my sisters, the phone rang. "Ash, where are you?" "I just landed in uh, um... (looking around for a non-existant sign) yeah, I have no clue. I forgot. Some town in West Virginia." Yup. I was that airport snob. If it wasn't Montgomery, I did not particularly care in that moment.
But then it started. "Ashlyn? Hey, I'm Chera..." The sweetest little voice, and looked up to find an adorable grinning stranger. Who took me "home" to 56 more grinning strangers. Who loved me simply because I wear the same diamond-shaped badge they do. That's it. That was the only requirement.
They took me straight to the doctor to get drops for the random pink-eye I woke up with Monday.
And hung out with me in the waiting room.
And then took me to WalMart to pay $60 for 1/16 tsp of drops.
They bought me dinner, saying "I know you're a vegetarian, what do you want?"
They actually asked if I had any laundry they could do for me.
They took a white, cinder-block dorm room and decorated it.
There is a stack of 15 shiny, glossy magazines.
There are posters all over the walls.
Stuffed animal lions and lettered pillows on furniture.
"We just thought it must be hard traveling and wanted to make it homey!"
There are Teddy Grahams, Reeses, and a zillion other snacks spread out.
The folded towels and put a bow around them. A bow.
Someone. put. FLOWERS. in here.
Lillies, in fact.
For a 3 1/2 day visit.
They went through all that.
For a girl they'd never laid eyes on.
"We Live For Each Other," we say.
And they did.
The West Virginia Wesleyan College girls have no idea, but on that Tuesday night, more than anything this year--I needed a home. So, so badly. And this house, this amazing sorority, is weirdly somehow my "home" no matter what campus I'm on.
And this is why I do this job. Why I pull 15-hour shifts. Why I lug 126 lbs. of stuff around America by myself. Why I hardly ever talk to my friends back home on a normal schedule.
Because I meet women like this every day.
And for every woman I've met this year, you're helping shape who I am as a person more than I ever imagined you'd do. I thought that was my job, ha. But you've shown me up. And I will never be the same.
"More than a ritual or a symbol, that it is a way of life..."